Re: (teach) Materials for Q.M.
- --- In TEFLChina@yahoogroups.com, "dk" <davkees@p...> wrote:
> John Ball "The obvious one is a head to head debate to coincide
> coming U.S Presidential Elections."bringing
> Si: "That would be rather interesting, but do you really think
> politics into the classroom is a good idea?"classes I teach the history and culture of America. I have found that
> Dave, that is exactly what I have done in my classroom. In my adult
many of the students are interesteing in learing all they can about
the worlds only super power.
I do not skirt the issues either. I have talked about America from its
early beginning and the winning of independence from England. I have
had the students read the Declaration of Independence so that they may
understand why we fought for independence from the King and what we
feel about freedom.
I have discussed the civil war and the reason it was fought. I have
had the students read Lincoln's Gettysburg Addres as well as Uncle
I do not avoid any issues including the mistakes we have made with
Iraq. I tell them the good, the bad and the ugly about America. I
want them to know that every country, including a super power, makes
makes mistakes. But unlike other countries we have recourse to correct
these mistakes. They have also learned about our great court system
and how it operates from the local level all the way up to the Supreme
We have discussed the election. I have given them links to the
campaigns of both candidates as well as a link to the official US
government web site for facts about the government.
Information is power. So I have told them that if they wish to be
powerful they need to learn all they can. They should gather as much
information from as many different sources as possible.
They have ben given links to some of our best and most respected
newespapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post. I tell them
that these are trusted newspapers. That Americans when asked which
professions then trust most, they always put reporters near the top of
the list, also, politicians are near the bottom along with lawyers.
I feel it is important to not only teach English but to teach good
citizenship. I find that having students talk and discuss issues that
they are the most interested in is the best way to keep the
This has been a very succeessul formula for me. It might not be right
for everyone. But since I am more seasoned than many of my younger
peers, I am able to discuss all of these issues with the knowledge
one gains from wisdom as he or she grows older. I am sure you
understand this point.
Just for your information, the school I teach at is the most expensive
English school in Dalian so most of the students are from the more
privledged families, government officials, military, police, etc. This
might help illuminate the situation a bit more.
"Ask questions. Seek answers. Embrace truth"
Just my thoughts on a very imporant matter.
Wayne Ewell....teaching in Dalian and a long way from home....USA
PS If we are going to be here teaching English I think we should make
the most of our time. It is like 'killing two birds with one stone'.
> Dave Kees
> dk@d... - Guangzhou, China - www.davekees.com
- dk <davkees@...> wrote:
In a normal
classroom 100% of your students will agree that Taiwan should return to
China. It's almost unheard of for even one student to disagree with this
When I was proof-reading national band six examination materials last year one of the sentences was:
'As everyone knows, Taiwan is a province of China.'
I think they had to choose the appropriate qualifying phrase from a choice of four, but this was the correct sentence.
So it is not so surprising the students also hold this opinion.
Next week I have my Taiwanese ex language partner visiting London. He has quite different views about the matter.
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> > Dave, that is exactly what I have done in my classroom. In my adult.
> classes I teach the history and culture of America. ...
> I do not skirt the issues either. ...
> I do not avoid any issues including the mistakes we have made with
> Iraq. I tell them the good, the bad and the ugly about America. I
> want them to know that every country, including a super power, makes
> makes mistakes. But unlike other countries we have recourse to correct
> these mistakes. They have also learned about our great court system
> and how it operates from the local level all the way up to the Supreme
> Information is power. So I have told them that if they wish to be
> powerful they need to learn all they can. They should gather as much
> information from as many different sources as possible.
> They have ben given links to some of our best and most respected
> newespapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post. I tell them
> that these are trusted newspapers.
> Wayne Ewell....teaching in Dalian and a long way from home....USA
>I think there is a danger here and that the teacher should tread very
carefully. It's almost impossible for the teacher to take a neutral
viewpoint, divorced from culture and background but we need to make an
effort to try and to clearly signal the difference between our
opinions, attitudes to and interpretations of facts from more neutral
information. Whether the US has corrected the faulty decisions and
attitudes in its foreign policy over the past 100 years is, of course,
debatable. The US court system is not so great in that black murderers
are four times more likely to die for their crime as white murderers.
The NYT and other newspapers appear to have operated under a degree of
self censorship in recent years. I'm not US baiting, I'm just saying
that items you are presenting as information may not be as impartial
as all that. Even if you give more than one side of an argument the
presentation is usually slanted.
This isn't to say that China, Britain or any other countries are any
better. In fact, the Chinese press and justice system would be
substantially improved if they operated on US lines. It's just that we
are language teachers, teaching English as an international language
and if we teach culture we are probably better employed teaching it
from a sociolinguistic perspective rather than a political perspective.
> PS If we are going to be here teaching English I think we should makeWayne
> the most of our time. It is like 'killing two birds with one stone'
Now, what is the difference between "If we are going to be here
teaching English I think ...", "If we are here teaching English I
think ..." and "We are here teaching English and I think ..."?
What exactly is the second bird?
University of Macau